Make A DIY Washing Machine From A Bucket

If you're camping or just too broke for the laundromat you can make a dirt cheap washing machine using a large bucket and a standard bathroom toilet plunger.

Bucket re-purposing weblog Five Gallon Ideas shares an easy method to build a DIY washing machine. Using a large bucket with a tight fitting lid, drill a small hole in the lid just large enough for the handle of your plunger to move through. Then drill around a dozen 6.35mm holes on the sides and top of the plunger to allow the water and soap to flow through properly. To use you'll just need to fill the bucket halfway with water, add your soap and dirty clothes and pump the plunger up and down for several minutes.

If you'll be travelling you can also skip the plunger and drill and just wash clothes in your car using a large bucket.

Washing Machine [Five-Gallon Ideas]


    Wait - I've only got a 6.3mm drill, not a 6.35mm. Will this still work?

    That would be a 1/4" drill bit. Some things don't need converting for an Australian audience.

    Will my used plunger still work to unclog a toilet after I drill a dozen 6.35mm holes on the sides and top of it?

    We could only find new toilet plungers that were made in China. When used in the bucket to wash clothes, the rubber on the plunger tore open making the plunger unusable as a washing agitator. Ended up switching to using a dollar-store broom. Metal long handle and nylon bristles on a brush-base that is about 8 inches long. What we did is cut off the bristles on the broom and just use the broom-without-bristles as a 'pusher' in the bucket. Works fine! Cheaper to do it this way than to buy a plastic plunger as the prices of those are outrageously expensive. Also having the longer handle of the broom makes it more like using a butter churn (easier of the back)

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now